Components of the Vision Document


The Vision document captures the needs of the user , the features of the system, and other common requirements for the project. As such, the scope of the Vision document extends over the top two levels of the requirements pyramid, thereby defining at a high level of abstraction both the problem and the solution .

For a software product, the Vision document also serves as the basis for discussion and agreement among the three primary internal stakeholder communities of the project:

  1. The marketing and product management team, which serves as the proxy for the customer and the user and which will ultimately be held accountable for the success of the product after release

  2. The project team developing the application

  3. The management team, which will be held responsible for the business outcome of the endeavor

The Vision document is uniquely important because it captures the essence of the product from all significant perspectives in a short, abstract, readable, and manageable form. As such, the Vision document is the primary focus in the early phases of the project, and any investment made in the process of gathering Vision document information will pay handsome returns in later phases.

Because virtually all software projects will benefit from having a Vision document, we are going to describe it in some detail. Although our example is oriented toward a software product, it should be a fairly straightforward matter to modify it for your particular system context.

Figure 16-1 provides a briefly annotated outline of a sample Vision document. This outline has been used, with customizations, in hundreds of software products and a wide variety of software applications. A fully annotated version of this document appears in Appendix B.

Figure 16-1. Template for a software product Vision document


In summary, the Vision document is a concise description of everything you consider most important about the product or application. Write the Vision document in plain language and at a level of detail that makes it easy for the primary stakeholders of the project to review and understand the document.


Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
ISBN: 032112247X
Year: 2003
Pages: 257 © 2008-2017.
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